Perhaps you have felt the strain of a particular job lately, or you feel like you aren’t getting enough sleep at night because of everything that likes to weigh on you before bedtime. Maybe you have had trouble concentrating but all the tests come back fine at your doctor’s office and it doesn’t seem to be an immediate worry. Perhaps the best person to ask would be your dentist. Your dentist? That’s right – dentists are concerned with just more than your teeth. With a dental check-up, they can find anything, including evidence that shows that you are dealing with immense stress or another medical condition.
When a dentist takes a closer look at your jaw, they may find that you are at risk of sleep apnea, which could be having a huge impact on the way that you sleep and feel rested. Besides just taking a closer look at the shape of your jaw, dentists also have the skills to check in an exam for telltale signs of compromised sleep and sleep apnea. They may ask you question such as: Are you feeling groggy during the day even though nothing has changed in your sleep schedule? Do you ever wake up and feel a sore throat or an extremely dry mouth? Do you go through bouts of insomnia?
Dentists are actually one of the common go-to’s when diagnosing sleep apnea. They may choose to move forward by fitting you with a device known as a mandibular advancement device, or a type of oral appliance that opens up your airway while you are sleeping, which can help sleep apnea sufferers. They may also suggest that you make common lifestyle changes, like consuming a low-fat diet or refraining from looking at screens on your computer or tablet before you go to bed. So if you ever thought that sleep apnea treatment is just for the doctor’s office, you may be wrong!
Bad cases of anxiety can actually affect your teeth as, even if you don’t know it, you may be grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw when you are stressed. It also happens upwards of thousands of times per night while you are sleeping! Because you are putting so many pounds of pressure on your teeth when you are stressed, you could not only just wear down your teeth, but also cause yourself joint and muscle problems. It can also lead to something known as temporomandibular joint problems, known as TMJ.
When you are constantly grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw, you are likely to experience a wide array of symptoms, such as headaches, neck aches, jaw pain, ear pain, ringing in the ears, and sensitivity in your teeth. You may even feel your jaw pop or click every time that it moves, which could be a concerning symptom to you, especially if you have never received a diagnosis of anxiety.
Anxiety and sleep apnea can wreak havoc on a perfectly healthy mouth, which is why it is a good idea to talk to your doctor if you have experienced tooth grinding, loss of sleep, and many other conditions. At your check-up, your dentist will take a closer look and ask some questions that will give them a better idea of what you are experiencing. At McBride Dental, we care about your teeth and want you to be pleased with your smile. Give us a call today for an appointment at 760-471-1003.